Monday, February 18, 2013

Imperfection Achieved

Before Christmas, I started working on a large piece that was to consist of four panels.  I didn't get very far because I had to switch gears in January to meet a deadline.

I met the deadline and now my attention is back on the large piece.  Here you can see the start on my design wall.

My idea was to fill in all that background with extreme machine stitching, covering closely every inch.

So I started with the only panel that had a full circle (that third one).  I sandwiched it with batting and have spent hours stitching the bleep out of that background.  

Doing big sweeping circular motions using free motion stitching is quite difficult.  Here's a section.  There are about four or five different thread colors in this.

The stitches are not consistent and the lines are wobbly.  But what I'm going for is the texture.

I've been working at the art museum quite a bit lately.  We are installing an exhibition that includes some Native American bead work.  In the work, the artist would purposely put a bead out of place (i.e. a white bead in a blue sky) so that it was not perfect, because humans cannot be perfect.

Well on this piece, I don't purposely have to create any imperfections because they are already there.  I noticed an even bigger one after I finished stitching the entire first panel.   Doing big circular stitching in different directions made the fabric very distorted.

I steamed and ironed and pulled and stretched.  Although it is now flatter than it was to begin with,  I still cannot get the circle to lay flat.

Looks o.k. from the front . . .

but not from the side.  See the nice bulge?

I can press in the center and make a crater instead.

I have learned a few things from this, I think.  I probably need to use a heavy stabilizer on the back of the fabric before quilting.  Or maybe I just use canvas behind it with no batting.  Now I know how to make a hill if I ever need one (although if I actually try to make another bulge, it would probably turn out flat!).  It also gave me an idea to try for a different way to construct a piece.

What to do?  Hmm, I don't think I can salvage this panel for this particular piece.  I will probably have to make a new panel to replace it.  But I am thinking about cutting this panel up and see if I can make it work as something else.

It is definitely disappointing as I've put a lot of time into this and I am now back to square one.  But hopefully, I can now figure out how to fix it so it won't happen again. We'll see.


Sandy said...

on the other hand, you could go with the flow and create a dimensional piece. Keep doing the rest like you have done this one and you will have a work that gently undulates. Not too many people are working at coming away from the wall, so this could be a start of something to celebrate what fabric does!
Sandy in the UK

Glenn said...

Let this be a unique piece, make more bumps and redefine the design. Cut it up and use the pieces in a new work. Its an opportunity.